Mobile “shopping discovery” app Zoomingo has secured $1.3 million in financing from two early stage venture capital firms – Naya Ventures and Benaroya Capital – as well as several prominent angel investors. The funding round is the first for the Seattle-based startup. It will be used to enhance the current application, build a retailer platform, and grow the Zoomingo community .
Zoomingo, Inc. today announced it has secured $1.3 million in financing from two leading early-stage venture capital firms — Naya Ventures and Benaroya Capital — as well as several prominent angel investors. Zoomingo is a new mobile “shopping discovery” app that provides consumers instant access to thousands of sale items on fashion, beauty, and home goods at top retailers in local markets nationwide.
The funding round is the first for the Seattle-based startup. It will be used to enhance the current application, build a retailer platform, and grow the Zoomingo community through expanded outreach to new customers and retail partners. Zoomingo is the brainchild of co-founders Shirish Nadkarni and Krishnan Seshadrinathan, who also co-founded Livemocha, the world’s largest language learning website.
“Zoomingo is at the forefront of the most interesting developments in location-based social shopping, an explosive growth area driven by rapid smart phone adoption,” said Dayakar Puskoor, managing director of Dallas-based Naya Ventures. “We are excited to partner with a company whose founders have a proven track record of success in bringing innovative, useful mobile applications to market.”
With this round of funding, Puskoor will join Zoomingo’s board of directors.
“Zoomingo provides a convenient online and mobile shopping tool for consumers who increasingly rely on their smart phones to enhance their in-store shopping experience,” said John Carleton, director of venture capital for Seattle-based Benaroya Capital. “Zoomingo is especially appealing in that it drives customers into physical retail stores, helping to increase both foot traffic and retailer revenue.”
Zoomingo — a take on “Zoom-in-and-go” — offers shoppers instant access to thousands of sale items from more than 70,000 local retail outlets and boutiques, delivering results in an easy-to-browse, easy-to-use format. Zoomingo also encourages shoppers to share their shopping discoveries with other members of the Zoomingo community — giving consumers even more information about sales in their area, and enhancing the app’s reach to smaller stores and boutiques. Zoomingo’s community crowd-sourcing infrastructure also features “Deal Scouts” in cities around the country who post sales and elicit feedback from users on the sales they’ve found.
“Zoomingo helps shoppers find sales quickly and easily while they’re out shopping — without the time-consuming and technological hassles of barcode scanning,” said Nadkarni. “This round of funding gives us the opportunity to further enhance Zoomingo and introduce the app to a much wider audience.”
Zoomingo was co-founded by Krishnan Seshadrinathan and Shirish Nadkarni, who also co-founded Livemocha, the world’s largest language learning website with more than 10 million users. Nadkarni also founded mobile email pioneer TeamOn, which was acquired by RIM in 2002. Nadkarni left Livemocha in 2011 and had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with his wife — an avid shopper. The experience of going from one store to another in the mall to find interesting things on sale quickly became tedious. Often, his wife might find an item, but not buy it because she wasn’t sure if there was something similar that was cheaper in another store. As a self-described “typical male shopper,” Nadkarni found the process time-consuming and frustrating, and searched for an app to help. Price comparison apps weren’t always reliable, and retailer mobile apps were geared to making online purchases. Nadkarni knew there had to be a better way — and the idea of Zoomingo was born.
About Naya Ventures
Naya Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused mainly on US and India-based companies. The company invests in and partners with companies that offer products and services in the Mobile and SaaS arenas that have the potential to tap into global markets. Its portfolio companies are characterized by innovative technology, strong management teams with deep industry connections and significant customer traction. Naya Ventures often serves as the initial largest investor and acts as an incubator to the companies and their technologies.
About Benaroya Capital
For more than two decades, The Benaroya Company has been among the Seattle region’s leading private venture capital firms. The company enters into active relationships with the companies it funds — vital, promising businesses that demonstrate bold vision, great market potential, compelling technology, proven management team, and strong financial discipline. In recent years, three Benaroya portfolio companies have gone public and more than 20 have had private exits. Prior technology investments include Tegic, Cequint, Swype, Sparkbuy, Coinstar, Commquest, Peapod and Zones. Active investments include Zoomingo, Avalara, Calico Energy, DNAResponse, Cozi, Avail Media, Scout Analytics, Buuteeq, Zipline, Pacstar and Genoa Healthcare.